Elizabeth Thode Hoard
“Miss Thode”, as she was known to many, was born in 1907 in South Carolina, and it was there that she discovered her love of music. In 1925, Elizabeth became one of the very first scholarship recipients of the Juilliard Musical Foundation, which sent her to New York to study piano at the Institute of Musical Arts, the forerunnuer of The Juilliard School.
Throughout the 1930’s, Elizabeth studied abroad with world-renowned European musicians. After her return from Europe, her performing career flourished. She played for Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House and performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, accompanying the great Wagnerian tenor Lauritz Melchior.
She was a long-time resident of the Bronx and served with great distinction for forty-six years at the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind (currently the New York Institute for Special Education) and spent several years as its Director of Music.